Natural decomposition of hornbeam wood decayed by the white rot fungus Trametes versicolor

<div><p>ABSTRACT The impacts of white-rot fungi on altering wood chemistry have been studied mostly in vitro. However, in vivo approaches may enable better assessment of the nature of interactions between saprotrophic fungi and host tree in nature. Hence, decayed and sound wood samples were collected from a naturally infected tree (Carpinus betulus L.). Fruiting bodies of the white rot fungus Trametes versicolor grown on the same tree were identified using rDNA ITS sequencing. Chemical compositions (cellulose and lignin) of both sound and infected wood were studied. FT-IR spectroscopy was used to collect spectra of decayed and un-decayed wood samples. The results of chemical compositions indicated that T. versicolor reduced cellulose and lignin in similar quantities. Fungal activities in decayed wood causes serious decline in pH content. The amount of alcohol-benzene soluble extractives was severely decreased, while a remarkable increase was found in 1% sodium hydroxide soluble and hot water extractive contents in the decayed wood samples, respectively. FT-IR analyses demonstrated that T. versicolor causes simultaneous white rot in the hornbeam tree in vivo which is in line with in vitro experiments.</p></div>